BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Walks Like a Duck

Yo.

(Pass the blog on to one new person today, would ya?)

"Walks like a duck, talks like a duck...is a duck."

Gonna get into the latest front in the Propaganda War today.

Specifically, the battle over the "i-word": INSURGENCY.

The Bushies hate it.

Insurgent (adj.) 1. Rising in revolt against established authority, especially a government. 2. Rebelling against the leadership of a political party.

(n.) One who is insurgent.

First, a few words from Jack Murtha:
Now, let me tell you the major problem we have.

You heard the president talk (to the Council on Foreign Relations) about terrorism. Every other word was "terrorism."

Let me separate terrorism from insurgency.

When I was in Iraq in 1991, president -- or King Fahd said to me -- this was an early morning meeting, like two or three o'clock in the morning, when he normally met with people during the air war.

And he said: Get your troops out of Saudi Arabia the minute this war's over. You're on sacred ground. You're destabilizing the whole region. I reported that back to the State Department and, as you know, we didn't get our troops out of there. We left our troops there.

Bin Laden said he attacked the United States because of the troops in Saudi Arabia. That's terrorism. Terrorism was in London. Terrorism was in Spain. Terrorism was, obviously, in the United States.

That's completely separate from what's going on in Iraq. Iraq is an insurgency.

*

They keep saying the terrorists are going to control Iraq -- no way. Al Qaida's only 7 percent of the people in Iraq and doing this fighting. The terrorists -- there's several factions, but let's say Al Qaida is 7 percent at the very most.

*

Now, let's talk about terrorism versus insurgency in Iraq itself.

We think that foreign fighters are about 7 percent -- might be a little bit more, a little bit less.

Very small proportion of the people that are involved in the insurgency are terrorists or how I would interpret them as terrorists.
Got that?

His (informed) position is clear: There's a big difference between an "insurgent" and a "terrorist," and right now...we're fighting insurgents.

In-sur-gent (n.) 1. A pissed off Iraqi in knock-off sweats and a really bad Laker t-shirt.

The one with the really bad cartoon depiction of Magic Johnson (big head, skinny body).

Enter...the Bushies.

Here's Our Kid and his recent comments to the Council on Foreign Relations:
The enemy in Iraq is a combination of rejectionists and Saddamists and terrorists.
Bang-o: You have the new words; "rejectionists," "Saddamists," and terrorists.

Trust me: The person (natch Rove) who came up with the words "rejectionists" and "Saddamists?" Gonna get a nice Xmas bonus.

Maybe a golf trip to Scotland?
The rejectionists are ordinary Iraqis, mostly Sunni Arabs who miss the privileged status they had under the regime of Saddam Hussein. They reject an Iraq in which they are no longer the dominant group.

(We believe that over time most of this group will be persuaded to be a democratic Iraq led by a federal government that is strong enough to protect minority rights.)

The Saddamists are former regime loyalists who harbor dreams of returning to power. And they're trying to foment anti-democratic sentiment amongst the larger Sunni community. Yet they lack popular support and over time they can be marginalized and defeated by security forces of a free Iraq.

The terrorists affiliated with or inspired by al Qaeda are the smallest, but most lethal, group.

Many are foreigners coming to fight freedom's progress in Iraq. They are led by a brutal terrorist named [Abu Musab al-Zarqawi] , al Qaeda's chief of operations in Iraq, who has pledged his allegiance to Osama bin Laden.
Brilliant moves: Did not use the "I-WORD," and continued to tie Bin Laden to Iraq.

Even said that some of the "terrorists" were simply "inspired" by Al-Qaeda.

"Well done, sir."

"Heh heh."

Next up...Scott McClellan...from yesterday's White House press conference:
MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Martha.

Q Scott, the President (in his speech to the CFR), I don't believe, mentioned the word "insurgency."

And going back to what Donald Rumsfeld said the other day, saying he doesn't think it's an insurgency -- why doesn't the President say that? He outlined the enemy, he never mentioned --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think it's important for the American people to understand exactly who the enemy is in Iraq, and they're defined in really three categories.
Rejectionists, Saddamists, and terrorists.
And so I think he was laying out what we view the nature of the enemy to be in Iraq.

It's not -- I don't think the President is trying to debate over words.

The President was just trying to define clearly for the American people who the enemy is, and what we're doing to bring some of those into the political process -- or the Iraqi people are doing to bring them in the political process, what we're doing to marginalize others, and what we're doing to defeat those who have come into that country seeking to create a safe haven.

Q: Is it an insurgency?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?

Q: Is it an insurgency?

MR. McCLELLAN: I would define it the way the President did in his remarks today. I think that's --

Q: So you don't want to call it an insurgency anymore?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, no, I think that's the most -- that's the best and most descriptive way to explain it to the American people.
Ha.
MR. McCLELLAN: And I think the American people ought to have a clear understanding of the nature of the enemy. That's very important.

In a time of war, it's important to talk to the American people and make sure they have a clear understanding of our strategy for succeeding.

We are going to win.

Our troops are going to succeed. And part of having a clear understanding of that strategy is knowing who the enemy is. And that's what the President was talking about again today in his remarks.

Q: One of the things about an insurgency, of course, is that most experts will tell you, it takes nine, 10 years to defeat an insurgency.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think our military commanders have talked about that before Congress.

Q: So there's no effort NOT to use that word because of a time --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think that the best way to describe it again is to break it into those three categories -- that's who the enemy is in Iraq -- and what we're doing to address those challenges from the threats that the Iraqi people face.
God, is he good.

He's really bad, but he's really good.

Hold on, it gets better.
Q: Scott, can I follow up what Martha was asking about, the use of the word "insurgents"?

We use that term all the time. Are we wrong to do so?

Is that not appropriate for what we're facing in Iraq?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I'll let others make those judgments; that's up to you all to make a determination in terms of what you use.

But I think it's important for the American people to have a clear sense of who the enemy is.

And that's why the President has been spelling out exactly who it is and how it breaks down into really three categories.

Q: So does he think it's not -- I mean, does he -- is he not planning to use that word? Does he want you guys not to use that word?

MR. McCLELLAN: I haven't heard any discussion about it here, Mark.
Ha.

Right.

Because it wasn't a discussion.

It was on order.

"No one...and I mean no one...is to use the...the...the freakin' 'i-word.' You got me?!"

"Yes, Mr. Rove."
Q: Is "rejectionist" a replacement word for "insurgent"?

MR. McCLELLAN: I just said, I haven't heard any such discussion about that.

I think that this is what the military commanders would tell you how they would define the enemy, and it's important to have that clear understanding of who the enemy is.

Q: Do you know how long "rejectionist" has been used to describe the insurgents?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think probably people have been using it for quite some time.
Some time = since Bush's speech to the CFR on Wednesday.
MR. McCLELLAN: It's not -- I think you've got to look at "rejectionist," you've got to look at "Saddam loyalist," and there are the "terrorists." And so I don't think you can limit it.

Q: Have you used it before?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I think so.

But I think the best way to describe the enemy is the way the President did.

And that's why I've often described it as "Saddam loyalist" and "terrorist."
Enough.

He gives me a headache.

Finally, the Secretary of Defense, from last week's press conference with Gen. Peter Pace:
Q: Senator McCain suggested you don't have enough troops, U.S. troops and Iraqi forces that are qualified to be able to hold those areas, clear them and build them. Can you address that, and can you talk about perhaps some specifics in recent weeks where that may have been happening?

GEN. PACE: I think what you see most recently are the examples of the operations that have been taking place in the Euphrates Valley between Baghdad and the Syrian border.

You're seeing the combination of U.S., coalition and Iraqi forces working side by side, many times with the Iraqi armed forces in the lead, taking cities from the -- I have to use the word "insurgent" because I can't think of a better word right now -- (soft laughter) -- take the --

SEC. RUMSFELD: Enemies of the Iraqi -- legitimate Iraqi government. How's that? (Laughter.)
Ha ha ha ha ha!

Another term for the insurgents! "Enemies of the legitimate Iraqi government."

It's funny!
Q: Quite seriously, the other thing I wanted to ask is today the day that you two at the podium stop using the word insurgents? I'm kind of noticing that.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh no, I'm sure I'll make a mistake and slip back into it.
Cheeky!

Don't worry: Don got the order.

Come to think of it, he may have WRITTEN the order.
SEC. RUMSFELD: You have the foreign terrorists, relatively small number, that are quite lethal and dangerous and reasonably well financed.

You've got some Saddam Ba'athist-types that think that there's hope they could take back the country.

There are some rejectionists, largely from the Sunni population, that felt that they were cut out, and they didn't like the idea of the Shi'a having a majority and the possibility the government would not be a Sunni-run government.

You have criminals. You have people do it for money. So you have a mixture.
Outstanding: He just added another category.

Criminals.
SEC. RUMSFELD: I think that you can have a legitimate insurgency in a country that has popular support and has a cohesiveness and has a legitimate gripe. These people don't have a legitimate gripe. They've got a peaceful way to change that government through the constitution, through the elections.

These people aren't trying to promote something other than disorder and to take over that country and turn it into a caliphate, and then spread it around the world.

This is a group of people who don't merit the word "insurgency," I think.
Entiendes?

CONTROL THE MESSAGE, PEOPLE.

Control the message.

Remember: We're fighting rejectionists, Saddamists, terrorists, enemies of the legitimate Iraqi government, and criminals.

BUT NOT INSURGENTS.

I say, "Walks like a duck, talks like a duck...is a duck."

Capice?
QUESTION: Mr. Murtha, what do you say to Senator Lieberman whom yesterday said Democrats need to acknowledge that this president is commander in chief for three more years, that undermining his credibility...

MURTHA: Undermining his credibility? What has he said that would give him credibility?
More later...

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